Wake Forest, NC | 6044 | 340 | 4.95E | 2020
Yet another athletic freak along the Tigers defensive line, with great balance, excellent hand placement and the keen sense to read and react quickly to plays. Possesses great football instincts, plays special teams, has helped pave the way for touchdowns lining up at fullback on offense and rarely comes off the field. The light-footed dancing bear plays with an aggressive mentality but is described as a ‘teddy bear’ off the field by coaches and teammates. He has been timed in the 4.9-range at 340-plus pounds and just 18% body fat. He also recorded 32 bench press reps of 225 as a freshman and can dunk a basketball. Has demonstrated sound footwork and polished technique early on in his Clemson career and still has plenty of room to grow. As he continues to gain experience and spend more time in the film room, there’s no limit to how high he can elevate his draft stock. “When you have great talent and skill plus great work ethic and character, you usually become a superstar,” is how his head coach Dabo Swinney describes him. Seems destined to be the number one overall pick in 2019 barring injury.
2016: Freshman All-American by ESPN and USA Today … ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (media, coaches) … Defensive Rookie of the Year by Pro Football Focus … second-team All-ACC (media, coaches) … All-ACC Academic Team selection … shared Rookie of the Year honors defensively with Clelin Ferrell … produced 79 tackles, fifth-most on the team, in 643 snaps over 15 games (11 starts) … broke Clemson freshman record with seven sacks, while also tallying 9.5 tackles for loss … produced 23 quarterback pressures, the second-highest figure on the team … also had two recovered fumbles and two blocked kicks.
High School: One of the highest rated five-star recruits in Clemson history … first-team USA Today All-American … listed as the No. 2 overall player in the nation by Rivals and 247Sports.com, the highest ranking in history for a Clemson signee by the latter … No. 3 by Scout.com … No. 5 overall player in the nation by PrepStar … No. 6 overall prospect by ESPN and No. 7 by Tom Lemming … top-two prospect at his position according to 247 Sports, Rivals, and Scout … third-best prospect at defensive tackle by ESPN … top player in the state of North Carolina according to all services … Associated Press Prep Player of the Year in North Carolina in 2015 … played in the U.S. Army All-America game … first-team all-state, he was the top vote getter on the defense … had 91 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, and 16 quarterback hurries in 12 games as a senior … helped Wake Forest to a 12-1 record his senior year … had 55 tackles, 10 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, three blocked kicks and three forced fumbles as a junior … had 56 tackles, including 19 tackles for loss and five sacks as a sophomore … for his career had 204 tackles, 65 tackles for loss and 28 sacks … added six caused fumbles and three fumble recoveries … played three years of basketball … narrowed his college choices to Clemson, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Alabama and Florida … coached by Reggie Lucas.
Personal: Participated in math camps as a young man … Clemson was his first college offer … majoring in justice studies.